In 1872, the world's first tennis club was founded in Leamington Spa. The world's oldest tennis tournament, the Wimbledon Championships, was first played in London in 1877. These first Championships culminated in a debate on how to standardise the rules of the sport as it evolved. John Moyer Heathcote was one of those who devised the original rules of lawn tennis, and he is also credited with inventing the cloth covering for the tennis ball. An amateur tennis champion until 1882, he wrote one of the very first manuals of the sport. The Classic Guide to Tennis instructs the budding tennis player in how to become a master of the game.
John Moyer Heathcote (12 July 1834-3 August 1912) was an English barrister and real tennis player. He was one of the committee that devised the original rules of lawn tennis and is credited with devising the cloth covering for the tennis ball. Heathcote was amateur real tennis champion every year until 1882 when the Hon. Alfred Lyttelton ended his long run, although in 1883 he regained the title. After this, Heathcote only won the gold prize once more in 1886 when Lyttleton was unable to play. Heathcote played tennis for many years and in a number of courts after he retired from competition play. He died in 1912.